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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here make things to sell at craft shows? Would you be willing to share your experiences?

Thanks!
 

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I have done it in years past but don't do it now.

There are a couple, at least, on here that do it on a regular basis. You will probably hear from them.

What did you want to know?

I did pretty good but was in an area where people didn't do that many crafts but were willing to pay for things that were homemade. Think that helped mine.

The first thing I would say is find out what is 'hot' in your area----and not what everyone else is 'doing', but go to some of the shops that sell homemade/local things and see what they are SELLING not what is being made by everyone else. You want something unique. If you do them in early fall ALWAYS have some Xmas type stuff ---people are thinking of it then. Might also help to have a broader price range of 'goodies' on whatever you carry. Also VARY THE STYLE.....just because you might like 'country' or some other style doesn't mean everyone else will.
 

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I'm thinking of making wood things, as woodworking is a hobby. We might start by making some plates and bowls as feastgear and try our hand at local SCA events, since we know people in the area, even though we haven't played in years.

For general craft shows I could turn some finial ornaments and pens. Also bottle stoppers. Maybe find some ink dip pen kits to have a couple on hand for SCA events too.

There is a store in town that is a kind of for profit coop kind of place with bunches of different vendors renting space. I should just go there and ask what sells?
 

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I'm thinking of making wood things, as woodworking is a hobby.
Oh...a woodworker! Have I got a project for you............:laugh:

I ALWAYS look at the quilt racks at our craft shows. They are usually just made out of pine --and that part is okay .......what isn't okay....is that they don't have the feet large enough (or? --shaped right) on them and when you put a heavy quilt on them they tip over!!

Good luck in finding goodies to sell. We have quite a few woodworkers that go to ours but sorry, can't tell you what sells and what doesn't. I love looking at the ? intarsia? I think it is called. The pieces they have put together like a puzzle............BEAUTIFUL STUFF!
 

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We did craft fairs for years - they were profitable for us for the most part.

One thing that seems to sell well are salad forks - about the size of your hands with four prongs and the top was rounded - sort of an extension of your hands - if I can find a picture, I'll post it.

I think that Christmas goodies are a good bet year round for those of us who are always looking!!

Good luck!!
 

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Don't plan on only one type of venue...you will soon saturate your market. I did that printing arrowhead photos on tee shirts...ended up losing my butt and ending up here (not a bad thing). The economic downturn and high gas prices also helped me go down.
 

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hey methyl ethyl ketone, you and i have a lot in common. both chemists too.

for me, selling at sca events was useless because all that happened was people walked away saying..."i can make that!". you know that sca ers will survive a nuclear holocaust because we know how to do everything. made shoes lately? ha ha. i would consider selling at a war, because there are 1000s of people there, high booth rent though.

now, i did make money at civil war, rendezvous, indian powwows, demonstrating soap making in costume and selling what i made. i would bring home 1000 - 2000 a weekend, and frequently they would not charge a fee, i was invited. i used my sca pavillion and set up a marvelous display with period bowls and draped tables with a lot of burlap. my period encampment came in handy and i met a lot of nice people.

also make sure you are the only [soap maker]. putting my prima donna nose in the air, i wouldn't do an event if there were another soaper present.

if you do this you can write off on taxes your sca costs and pavilion expenses. my soap making business paid for gate, feast, tentage, gasoline/mileage to and from events, and all sorts of stuff.

edited to add, my ex used to set up a pole lathe so he would have something to demonstate too and sell his wares as well.

edited to add: regular craft shows for me were a waste of time, as well as having booth space in a shop. waste of time. get in with the reenactment circuit. this is what happens, -hey will you come and demonstrate at our event in may?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh...a woodworker! Have I got a project for you............:laugh:

I ALWAYS look at the quilt racks at our craft shows. They are usually just made out of pine --and that part is okay .......what isn't okay....is that they don't have the feet large enough (or? --shaped right) on them and when you put a heavy quilt on them they tip over!!

Good luck in finding goodies to sell. We have quite a few woodworkers that go to ours but sorry, can't tell you what sells and what doesn't. I love looking at the ? intarsia? I think it is called. The pieces they have put together like a puzzle............BEAUTIFUL STUFF!
Mind me asking what you would spend on an acceptable quilt rack? What would a fair price be for a non-FV quilter? Besides stability, what do you want to see in a quilt rack? There's a small quilt store nearby that I used to be a customer of before wadding up my muslin attempt at a crotch curve in a ball and throwing it as hard as I could into the dark corner of the closet a couple years ago.

Also, what would a fair price be for a sewing table? One with a lift that can put the machine in the three positions of resting on the table (same as without a lift), flush with the table or completely under the table (for when you need to use the table as a horizontal surface of clutter accumulation).
 

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Before you make anything check out the areas that you intend to sell in. Go to the fairs and shows and see what is selling. I did craft fairs years ago and never made much. It depends on the show and the price. Some people come just to steal your ideas. Be careful with the information you share. If you have a unique do dad beware of people asking too many questions on how you made it. I actually had a couple tell me that they never buy anything they just come to see what is out and go home and make it themselves. You can always say it is a family secret. You can try etsy and sell online.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Before you make anything check out the areas that you intend to sell in. Go to the fairs and shows and see what is selling. I did craft fairs years ago and never made much. It depends on the show and the price. Some people come just to steal your ideas. Be careful with the information you share. If you have a unique do dad beware of people asking too many questions on how you made it. I actually had a couple tell me that they never buy anything they just come to see what is out and go home and make it themselves. You can always say it is a family secret. You can try etsy and sell online.
Thanks! I'm also thinking of contacting local retail businesses to see if they'd be willing to offer some things on consignment maybe. Quilt racks at the sewing store, bottle stoppers at the homebrew store and liquor stores, etc. I'll stop by the sewing store first to ask if they think such things would move or not. The homebrew store said he's not sure how they'd move, but bottlestoppers are cheap and low labor to make, so low risk.
 

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I was considering the same venue. I might try Etsy, but it seems like the market is flooded with crafts. I'm guessing a lot of people had the same idea!

Hmmmm....I'm still thinking about it.
 

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I used to cross stitch baby sweatshirts to sell at craft shows. It was a huge seller and I was the only one doing it. I couldn't make enough of them! This is time consuming though, so if it isn't a favorite hobby, I don't recommend it.
 

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I go to LOTS of craft shows in the fall so it is going to be interesting this year to see just what is there........and moving.

I am expecting a lot of sellers at them as it is a great way to make some extra money and can be fun. But will be interesting to see if people are buying.
 

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i see a woman who works for one of my pts that does Renaissance fairs -she does a story time thing for kids - she has a side table where she sells anything from that time period she can find at a thrift cheap and resell- she was telling me how well wood things like bowls- cups utensils do when she finds them they sell right away .
 

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I did Mark, I did rather well and had customers that looked for me every year. The best thing I found is to find the shows where people go to to find you're kind of thing. That and juried shows, and shows where people pay to get in. If people are willing to pay to get into a craft show then they are almost always ready to drop some cash. My business did really well in rich areas like the main line.

I made gift baskets. They were extremely well received because I put Really Good Merchandise in the baskets, and not dollar store stuff like a lot of other basket makers out there. I packed them super full, had them lined with designer fabric, and wrapped them so nicely it was a shame to wreck it by opening it. I spent a lot of time searching out clearances for things to go in the baskets. A basket that cost me $20 I could sell for $200 easy. My business became so popular I had business cards made up and I would get calls for basket orders like a florist from several clients. I even had an e-mailing that let clients know where I would be and when. I also had several shops that were willing to set out my baskets for a cut of the profit.

What I'm trying to say is, make a really high quality product(s) and set up where people are willing and able to drop the bucks and you'll have a booming business in no time. Whatever you do, do it better then anyone else! Oh, and how you display your wares makes a huge difference too. Make sure your stand is inviting enough to draw people in. You could have the most amazing pieces, but if you just drop them on a table people are going to walk right by. Think of it like Homer's Odyssey, you want the "Sirens" to sing so sweetly that people are draw to your stand from across the room. I've seen people sell some pretty bad stuff at great stands. It's all about presentation sometimes.
 
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